Saturday, 30 November 2013

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly #1) by Charlaine Harris

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Harper Connolly is honest, ethical and loyal - and ever since a bolt of lightening zapped her on the head, she's had an extra-special talent: she can find dead people. It's not a common-or-garden job. Some people find Harper's talent useful and fascinating, but she's getting used to most people treating her like a blood-sucking leech. She's become an expert at getting in, getting paid and getting out, fast.

When Harper and her stepbrother Tolliver, travel to the Ozarks to find a local teenager, missing, believed dead, they discover that someone is willing to go to great lengths to bury a secret.

Before long Tolliver's locked away on trumped-up charges and Harper's fighting for her own life...

Grave Sight by Charlaine Harris

My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

Grave Sight (Harper Connelly, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
23-year-old Harper Connelly can sense dead bodies, and can even see how they died, since she was struck by lightning at the age of 15.

Choosing to use her special talent to both help people, and earn a living, Harper and her step-brother Tolliver drive around the country finding dead bodies. Their latest case – Sarne, where a teenage girl is missing, presumed dead.
Can Harper locate the missing girl? How did she die? Did her boyfriend really commit suicide? And who is out to get Harper?

Even though this is the second time I have read this book, I still really enjoyed it, and I liked how the mystery was kept up right the way ‘til the end of the book.

Harper was an interesting character. At times she was very firm, and stuck up for what she felt was right, but at other times she came across as very fragile, and the sort of person who needed protecting. I felt quite sorry for her and the way she was victimised at times, and it was unfair that people weren’t more appreciative of her special talent.

The storyline in this was pretty good, and the mystery was also a good one. It was difficult to work out the pattern to the many clues, although because this was a re-read I did remember part-way through what was going on. I liked the mystery and suspense though, and thought it was done really well, and the many different parts of the plotline were quite difficult to piece together.
I liked the ending and thought that it was well done. There were a couple of things that weren’t tied up at the end, but I’m planning on reading the rest of the series now to find out those answers!
Overall; a good suspense/mystery.
7.5 out of 10.

Cover Reveal - Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic (The Dowser #2) by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Official web page:
Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic
 (The Dowser #2) by Meghan Ciana Doidge

Synopsis: Three months ago, I lost my foster sister, Sienna, to the darkness. As in blood magic and chaos and general mayhem. No one saw it until it was too late, but I should have. Now, I have a wounded heart and soul that I can’t even reveal to anyone around me, because I’m supposed to hate Sienna with the fiery passion of the justified. And I do. I just wish I didn’t feel so lost without her, so unsure of the path I thought I had carved for myself, and so outclassed by the powerful Adepts constantly by my side these days. I’m not even sure if they’re with me for my own protection or because my shiny new powers are rare and valuable. Assuming I ever figure out who or what I am, and how my magic actually works. Even chocolate can’t save the day every time … just most of the time. At least I’ve got that going for me.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Searching for Someday (Searching For #1) by Jennifer Probst

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon and Schuster, and Edelweiss.
Searching for Someday (Love Spells, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kate has given up on love—at least for herself. She is both blessed and cursed with the ability to sense a romantic connection between two people—a gift that her family passed down for generations. When Kate launches her own matchmaking company, Kinnection, with her two best friends in a cozy New York town, she has to put aside her own romantic disasters to make her business a success.
But when a furious man stalks into her office and accuses her business of being a scam, Kate is given the ultimate challenge to prove herself. Slade puts himself in her hands and asks Kate to find him love. Enraged at his arrogance but stubbornly eager to prove herself, Kate agrees, dedicating herself to the journey of finding him love…only to find herself falling for him along the way.

Searching for Someday by Jennifer Probst

My rating: 3.63 of 5 stars

Searching for Someday (Love Spells, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Simon and Schuster, and Edelweiss.)
Kate has a gift for knowing when two people will make a good couple, but she’s not been so lucky in love herself.
When Slade accuses her of taking his sister’s money dishonestly, and requests that Kate find him a love match, he doesn’t expect to start falling for Kate herself, and neither does Kate.
Can Slade and Kate realise their feelings for one another? And can either of them believe that maybe they deserve love themselves?

This was an okay contemporary romance, but I liked the romance more than the other storylines.

Kate was an okay character, but she was just so stubborn at times, and didn’t seem willing to find love for herself. I really wanted her to give Slade more of a chance instead of pushing him away, but she was just too stubborn to do it.
Slade was also an okay character, but had similar issues with not believing that he could find love, or have a loving relationship. His over-protectiveness of his sister was also a little irritating.

The storyline was okay, but I preferred the romance to the rest of the storyline. I found the rest of the story a bit boring in places and kept hoping for another scene between Kate and Slade.
The romance was good though, with some sizzling love scenes, and Kate and Slade were good together in this aspect.

The ending was good and happy, although the epilogue was really weird!
Overall; a good romance, but the rest of the storyline wasn’t as good.
7.25 out of 10

Clash (Crash #2) by Nicole Williams

Clash (Crash, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Their Romeo-and-Juliet-level passion is the only thing Jude and Lucy agree on. That, and fighting all the time . . .

Also not helping? Lucy's raging jealousy of the cheerleader who's wormed her way into Jude's life.

While trying to hang on to her quintessential bad boy and also training to be the top ballet dancer in her class, Lucy knows something's going to give . . . soon.

How can she live without the boy she loves? How can she live with herself if she gives up on her dreams? If Lucy doesn't make the right choice, she could lose everything.

Clash by Nicole Williams

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clash (Crash, #2)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
This is book 2 in the ‘Crash’ series.
Luce and Jude are together but not having sex, what they are having is a lot of arguments though.
Can Luce and Jude really make things work? How long before Jude caves and they have sex? And can either of them keep their jealousy in check?

Let’s just say that I know why this book is called ‘Clash’ now, because all that really happens is the characters butting heads, and generally being argumentative.

Both Jude and Luce annoyed me in this book. Both of them suffered from Jealousy, and both of them had ridiculous tempers. I got really annoyed at how hypocritical they were, as most of the time it was the pot calling the kettle black, and I also got annoyed by how they set themselves up for arguments all the time. I mean asking a male dancer to help you out of your corset, when you know Jude will walk in at any moment is bound to cause problems isn’t it?

The storyline in this was literally Jude and Luce arguing, Jude and Luce being jealous of each other, and Luce moaning about how Jude wouldn’t sleep with her. I was also less than impressed with their lack of thought for their safety, when they were getting intimate whilst Jude was driving!!
I also felt really embarrassed by some of the things the girls said to each other, and so many times I just knew that there was about to be another explosion when one of them said or did something that was inflammatory. I spent most of the book just wishing that they would grow up and behave more maturely, and just get over themselves already.

There were other things in this book that annoyed me, but it’s difficult to go over a lot of them without dropping spoilers which I don’t want to do, let’s just say that some of the things that happened towards the end were unrealistic, unbelievable, and downright ridiculous. I was so glad that I buddy read this with someone so that I could rant about this book!
Overall; a whole load of unnecessary arguments, and an unrealistic ending.
6 out of 10.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Golden Dunes of Renhala (Renhala #2) by Amy Joy Lutchen

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Amy Joy Lutchen.
Golden Dunes of Renhala (Renhala, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
How do you live with a secret so dark and so deeply woven into your being that it threatens to smother your very existence, with no known way out? Use it to your advantage.

Kailey Rooke, karmelean, and now a possibly unethical karma-for-hire, has spent the past year jumping from project to project without any real hope for salvation. With repercussions from her actions at every turn, she discovers that as time goes on, she loses a bit more of herself to that which feeds on her anguish--that which is thriving inside her own body.

When a new contract to find a missing girl arises, Kailey attempts to put her past and its associated problems on the back burner, but she soon finds out that treachery and deceit lie shortly ahead in Golden Dunes, only giving face to new problems, with one leading right back to her childhood past.

She struggles to complete her contract as her own life teeters on a fulcrum, constantly tipping according to karma’s whim. How long will she keep her balance? Which way will she fall?

Golden Dunes of Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Golden Dunes of Renhala (Renhala, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Amy Joy Lutchen.)
This is book 2 in the ‘Renhala’ series.
**Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘Renhala’.**
Kailey is trying to deal with her sudo-abominor, and also trying to help people, as she accepts jobs around Renhala.
Kailey’s latest job is finding a missing girl (Flora), only things are more complicated than Kailey realised, and before long she finds herself in a heap of trouble.
What has happened to Flora? How long can Kailey keep her sudo-abominor in check? And What else will she learn on the journey?

This was an interesting second instalment, with some surprising events.

Kailey obviously went through a lot of changes in the first book, and she’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde character in this story, constantly fighting the pull of the sudo-abominor, and trying instead to do good. It was fairly easy to spot when things were about to get out of her control, and interesting to see her sometimes fight what sudo-abominor wanted! She did have moments were I thought she was pretty harsh, and even bloodthirsty though, and at times it really was Kailey and not sudo-abominor.

The storyline in this one basically revolved around Kailey and their entourage as they tried to find a missing girl – Flora, in Renhala. There were several other aspects to the story though, and some real surprises along the way!
There was quite a lot of information in this one. I understand that it was necessary, because boy did we need a recap after book 1, but it also made certain parts of the book drag a bit. Once I’d remembered what had happened I did end up glossing over these large blocks of information a bit, as they really slowed the pace of the story. This story wasn’t quite as long as the first one though, so overall the pace seemed quicker.

There were quite a lot of surprising events in this one, and we also got a bit more information about Kailey’s family, and her brother Stephen. There was also a story told to Kailey that involved some animal cruelty and was very sad, and we got a brief, unexpected death, that had a very strange conclusion.

There was some romance in this one, but again it was very brief, and not a major part of the story. Again we had this sort-of love triangle thing going on with Kailey, Connor, and Ladimer, but because there was very little romance in this, the love triangle wasn’t really a problem.

The ending to this was okay, and we did get an interesting event right at the very end that was unexpected, and I thought a little funny! It will certainly be interesting to see what Kailey does about this in the next book!
Overall; an interesting sequel.
7 out of 10.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Every Little Secret (Second Chances #2) by Kate Ashton

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Kate Ashton.
Every Little Secret (Second Chances, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A New Adult contemporary romance - companion novella to Every Little Piece.

Needing to love…

Every day I’m with Chad, I prove my dad wrong, that I can be loved…that I am loveable. So why is our relationship so hard? When we’re together on the dance floor or between the sheets, I pray for a small twinge of lust or something. I remember when his lazy smile sent my toes curling and my lower regions throbbing. But lately, thoughts of Noah come even though I don’t want them to: his valiant efforts to rescue me, his tender, caring side, even though I was being an idiot that night. I just don’t know if I’m ready to shake off one bad relationship to trust in another one.

Wanting to trust…

Her words echo in my head. Let’s be secret friends. Shh, don’t tell anyone. That girl ruined my life. Because of her and what happened I haven’t touched a girl since high school. I haven’t let myself fantasize about a girlfriend. About finding love. Or sex. Shit. Has it been that long since I’ve been laid? Then there’s Carly. The tantalizing goddess I rescued. For the first time I’m feeling things I swore I never would again. Somehow, she’s wormed her way into my heart, but I just don’t know if it’s too late for love and for the two of us.

Every Little Secret by Kate Ashton

My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

Every Little Secret (Second Chances, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Kate Ashton.)
This is the second book in the ‘Second Chances’ series, but can be read as a standalone novel.
Carly believes that she is unlovable, all thanks to her dad who is still mad that Carly’s mom left him. She’s with Chad, because she knows that he loves her, and proves that her dad is wrong, but Chad just doesn’t light her fire the way he used to.

Noah is hiding a secret that is stopping him from getting on with his life, a secret that even caused him to drop out of college.

When Noah rescues Carly from nearly drowning because she was drunk and decided to go for a late night swim in the ocean, he knows there’s something special about her, and eventually they become secret friends.
Should Carly still be with Chad though? Does she want more than friendship with Noah? And what secrets are they both hiding?

This was a really good NA contemporary romance, and I really enjoyed it.

Both Carly and Noah had issues in this book, and both were hiding their secrets close to their chests. I would have liked for both of them to have stood up for themselves a little more, but it was easy to see why they didn’t once their problems were revealed.

I liked the storyline in this book, and I liked how it took a while for us to really learn the secrets that this pair were hiding. I liked how Carly and Noah both managed to find a way to each other, and both managed to eventually overcome the obstacles between them.
I liked the romance, even though there weren’t many purely romantic scenes, but I was surprised that there weren’t any sex scenes. The book flowed well though, and I love this author’s writing style! The romance was instead the kind of slow-building romance that you know will last forever.

The ending was good and happy, although I would have liked to have seen the couple happy together a bit more maybe.
Overall; a good NA/YA contemporary romance, recommended!
8.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1) by Aimee Carter

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley.
Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Previously titled Masked.

Pawn by Aimee Carter

My rating: 3.38 of 5 stars

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin Teen and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Kitty has been raised in a foster home, after being born as an extra – the second child of a couple only allowed one child.

On her 17th birthday, having completed her test and being labelled a III – one of the lower classes, Kitty has been told that she will be working cleaning out sewers on the other side of the country, meaning that she will never see her childhood sweetheart Benjy again.

When an opportunity presents itself for Kitty to leave behind life as a III, and instead be given a new label as a VII – the highest rank, she takes it, not knowing the catch.
What has Kitty gotten herself involved in? Will she ever see Benjy again? And was becoming a VII worth risking everything?

This was an okay dystopian story, but I didn’t love it.

Kitty was an okay character, but I just couldn’t love her. At times she would show some spunk, but then at other times she was downright naïve and stupid. When she found out that rich people hired their kids tutors to help them with their test, she was surprised, shocked even! How she found this so shocking was beyond me. Anyone with half a brain would be able to work out that rich people’s kids will get higher ranks one way or another, and it also doesn’t take a genius to work out that even if she’d been the smartest person on the planet she might still have been labelled a III. Even as smart as she was, she had some sort of dyslexia, and couldn’t read because of it. In this sort of society, not being able to read for any reason was going to be held against you, so the odds were already stacked against her.
When she was then asked to do a certain task (one that I was pretty sure would have ended up killing her) she refused to do it, but not for the reasons I expected! And then when a certain person from her past turns up, she happily believes that he honestly scored a VI on his test, as does he. While this is never disputed, I find it highly improbable that he earned a VI, and was not in fact given a six so that they could get him into a position to use threats over his life to get to Kitty. I really just could not believe how she believed everything she was told! Considering that she was supposed to be smart, she certainly didn’t act like it at times.

The storyline in this was okay, although it did remind me of other books that I had read. It was a bit of a mash-up between ‘Legend’ and ‘Impostor’, and while I enjoyed the story, I just didn’t love it. This is probably in part due to the afore mentioned problems with Kitty, but the story just didn’t keep me engaged for the duration of the book, and I found this pretty easy to put down, and easy to get distracted from unfortunately. I also began to get pretty sick of all the different backstabbing things going on.
There were some twists that I didn’t see coming, which were good, and the overall story was alright. The ending was okay, but also made it obvious that this was the first book in a series, as very little was tied up at the end.
It will be interesting to find out what happens next in the story, but I won’t be rushing to read it.
Overall; an okay dystopian, but the main character was just too trusting and naïve for me.
6.75 out of 10.

Also - has anyone noticed that when said out loud, this book's title sounds like 'porn'?

Monday, 25 November 2013

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits #3) by Katie McGarry

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.
Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From acclaimed author Katie McGarry comes an explosive new tale of a good girl with a reckless streak, a street-smart guy with nothing to lose, and a romance forged in the fast lane

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.

Crash into You by Katie McGarry

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Rachel has panic attacks, and hates being the focus of attention, so being asked to speak at a charity event that her mother is hosting is just too much for her to even think about.

17-year-old Isaiah is a foster kid who's not 100% honest about where he's currently living. When he meets Rachel at a drag race, he instantly feels a connection to her, even though he knows he's not good enough for her.
Can Rachel be the person her mother needs her to be? Can Isaiah be the person that he thinks Rachel needs him to be? And is drag racing cars ever a good idea?

This was a good YA contemporary romance, but I liked the romance more than the rest of the story.

Rachel was a sweet girl who had issues, and it was pretty harsh the way her mother continually tried to turn her into a different person. I almost wanted Rachel to stand up to people more, but it was clear that that wasn't the sort of person she was.
Isaiah was also troubled, but I loved the way he went to such lengths to try and protect Rachel and keep her safe.

I did like the storyline in this book, but I liked the romance more than the other storylines. I thought the romance between Isaiah and Rachel was really sweet, and when they got passionate, boy was the heat turned up!
The other storylines were only okay for me. I thought that the drag racing was a bad idea, and getting involved in the debt side of things was a bad idea too. I also hated Rachel's brothers at times for the way they treated her, as well as her parents who had unrealistic expectations.

The ending was quite surprising, and was reasonably happy. I think that if you liked this authors previous books then you'll probably like this one too.
Overall; a good YA contemporary romance, with some car-racing action.
7 out of 10.

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles #2) by Kresley Cole

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
In this seductive follow-up to Poison Princess, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole takes us deeper into the dark world of the Arcana Chronicles.

Shocking Secrets

Evie has fully come into her powers as the Tarot Empress, and Jack was there to see it all. She now knows that the teens who've been reincarnated as the Tarot are in the throes of an epic battle. It's kill or be killed, and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Unexpected Allies

With threats lurking around every corner, Evie is forced to trust her newfound alliance. Together they must fight not only other Arcana, but also Bagmen zombies, post-apocalyptic storms, and cannibals.

Gut-Wrenching Treachery

When Evie meets Death, things get even more complicated. Though falling for Jack, she's drawn to the dangerous Endless Knight as well. Somehow the Empress and Death share a history, one that Evie can't remember—but Death can't forget.

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
This is book 2 in the ‘Arcana Chronicles’.
**Warning – some unavoidable spoilers for book 1 ‘Poison Princess’.**
Evie has bested the alchemist, but Death still awaits her.
Can Evie and the other Arcana possibly beat Death by banding together? Is Evie ready to give herself to Jackson? And what does Death really want from her?

This was an okay story, but the pace was too slow, and the characters started to annoy me.

Evie was just a bit dumb in this instalment, she seemed incapable of seeing what was right in front of her nose, and talk about clueless as to other people’s feelings! She was also too trusting at times, for some reason believing in the ‘goodness’ of humanity, even when battling people who wanted to kill her. She believed most of what was told to her, even when I was convinced that she was being lied to, and her unwavering belief in an alliance was nothing short of naïve. I don’t know what KC is thinking of, but I expected more from an ‘Empress’.

The storyline in this was okay, but the pace killed me. It was just so slow, and I got so sick of all the talking and whining, and agonising. Just get on with it already! I found this book really easy to put down, and managed to read two whole other books whilst reading this because I was so bored at points. It would have probably taken me even longer to finish this if I hadn’t forced myself to keep reading.

I again thought that the idea of an alliance was the height of nativity, because while it sounds lovely and right, it is at the end of the day nothing short of a pipe-dream. These characters were created with only one purpose – to kill each other and complete the game. To believe that an alliance can be formed, and that not everyone needs to die is just a dream, and I really don’t believe that a game of this magnitude could ever be cheated so easily.

There was romance in this one, although I can honestly say that I didn’t like Jackson in this instalment, he seriously irritated me. There was also a sex scene, which was pretty detailed considering that this is supposed to be a young adult book, and I can’t say that I really enjoyed the sex scene or the relationship between Evie and Jackson.

The ending was a giant cliff-hanger, and I wasn’t impressed.
Overall; the pace was too slow, and Evie was too dumb.
6 out of 10.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dream Girl (Book 1) by S.J. Lomas

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Scribe Publishing Company and Netgalley.
Dream Girl (Book 1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
For Christine, dreams have never meant much. Until she meets Gabriel. Everyone thinks Christine should stay away from her new coworker at the library—thanks to his bad reputation—but when her dreams grow more vivid and she becomes entangled in a dangerous dream world with Gabriel every night, she can’t stay away. Soon it’s clear there is far more to dreams than Christine ever imagined, and now she’s on the path to making the biggest, and strangest, decision of her life.

Dream Girl by S.J. Lomas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Dream Girl (Book 1)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Scribe Publishing Company and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Christine works at a library, and is supposed to be looking for an apartment as her mother is moving to Mexico.
Gabriel starts work at the library, and they instantly fall for each other.
Gabriel and Christine start meeting in their dreams though, and Christine will soon find out Gabriel’s secret.
What is Gabriel hiding? And why do they meet in their dreams?

This book just annoyed me.

I couldn’t relate to either Gabriel or Christine in this book. Being librarians, I thought I might at least like them, but they were just really nothingness characters, and the only feeling they inspired in me was annoyance. I was also really irritated by Christine’s continued stupidity. I mean, she didn’t even know Gabriel’s last name, and she was going to walks into the dark woods with him at night, and wading into a river? How dumb can you get? I also didn’t buy the fact that these characters were supposed to be only 17-years-old, they came across as much older.

The storyline in this also irritated me. The first thing to annoy me was Gabriel and Christine’s insta-love. I personally do not mind insta-love, as long as I feel it as well. If the flirting, lust, love, spark, passion etc. is done well, and I find myself falling a little bit in love with the characters as well, then I don’t have a problem, but that wasn’t what happened here. Instead we got ‘wow, she’s got nice eyes! I must tell her all my deepest darkest secrets immediately, because I’m in love with her, and can’t stop thinking about her’. I mean what? They’d barely even spoken other than saying ‘hello’, and he started writing her letters about his dreams, and trying to get up the courage to ask her to read them!

There was loads of other stuff that really bugged me about this book, but like I’ve done before with books that annoy me, I’m going to let my status updates speak for themselves:
7% "how freaking weird! he's only ever laid eyes on her once and he's writing stories for her?!"
7% "her cheeks are flushed so a customer asks her if she's on drugs?"
7% "he's lucky he's still got a job."
10% "not got the faintest idea what that story of his is about!"
18% "they have this instant-attraction thing going on, but I'm just not feeling it. there's no spark, no passion, and I don't feel anything for either of the characters."
18% "she doesn't even know this bloke's last name, and she's letting him take her into the woods, and now they're wading out into the middle of the river for no good reason whatsoever? is she freaking nuts?!"
19% "wading in a river is the best night of his life?"
25% "she's only 17? she comes across older."
39% "yikes. another 61% to go!"
44% ""Gabriel was asking me to love him." really?"
49% "now she's telling someone else about this mess? they're going to think she's nuts."
55% "top secret government agency?"
61% "oops! sorry! not on duty tonight! call me at a more convenient time please!"
75% ""Traitorous Agent ....... deployed a mind trap on you." could that sound any more bad sci-fi movie?"
78% "homeland security?"
98% Thank goodness that’s over with!

The ending of this was also a bit weird, and I’m not sure if the author is planning on writing more books and turning this into a series, because the ending was left really open. If there are more books, I won’t be reading them though.
Overall; irritating. Just irritating.
4 out of 10.

Stacking the Shelves - November 24th 2013


Books Read:

Angelbound (Angelbound, #1) Reckless (Thoughtless, #3) Legacy (Night School, #2) Fracture by C.J. Daugherty UnStrung (Unwind, #1.5) UnSouled (Unwind, #3) Once by Anna Carey

Books Received:

Another Little Piece of My Heart The Darkest Joy Searching for Someday (Love Spells, #1) Red
The Queen's Choice (Heirs of Chrior, #1) Jaded Stone (Souls of the Stones, #4)

1. Another Little Piece of My Heart by Tracey Martin -
Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.
2. The Darkest Joy by Marata Eros -
Thanks to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss.
3.Searching for Someday by Jennifer Probst - 
Thanks to Simon and Schuster and Edelweiss.
4. Red by Alison Cherry -
Thanks to Quercus Books and Netgalley.
5. The Queen's Choice by Cayla Kluver -
Thanks to Harlequin TEEN and Netgalley.
6. Jaded Stone by Kelly Walker -
Thanks to Rachel Marks and Kelly Walker.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Unchosen (The Reaper Diaries #2) by Michele Vail

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, and Michele Vail.
Unchosen (The Reaper Diaries, #2)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
I thought the worst of my reaper training was behind me… turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong.

Molly Bartolucci has done a lot of growing up but after being accused of using illegal magic at her school for necromancers, reaper-in-training Molly is treading lightly. As the destined leader of Anubis’s Chosen, she needs to study hard, train harder, and stay out of trouble.

Uh, right.

It doesn’t help that she’s feeling more than academic about her melt-your-bones hot reaping instructor, Rath. And if her relationship drama isn’t enough to drive her over the edge, she has to deal with mother issues, nosy little sisters, suspicious friends, and an unnamed force stalking her at school.

Then her family is attacked, and her bio-dad ends up comatose in the hospital. Now, Molly has to uncover who’s trying to hurt her loved ones—and all without the help of Anubis.

Unchosen by Michele Vail

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Unchosen (The Reaper Diaries, #2)(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to the Fantastic Flying Book Club, and Michele Vail.)
This is book 2 in the ‘The Reaper Diaries’ series.
Molly has sorted out her little mistake with Rick, but she’s got more things to worry about now when she’s in trouble for possession of a soul box, and there are issues with the role of the Kebechet.
Will Molly get kicked out of school? Will she be the next Kebechet? And where is Anubis?

This was an okay story, but it was just missing something for me.

Molly was an okay character, if a little immature, and did come across as very naïve and childish at times. Her ‘notes to self’ were a little strange at times, and I also caught a Judy Blume shout-out when Molly asks ‘Are you there Anubis? It’s me, Molly’.

The storyline was okay, but the story felt a little wooden. At times I felt like I was reading the script from a made for TV movie, or watching a pantomime, and certain parts were just downright cheesy.

The info dumps were still there in abundance in this book, and there were whole chunks that just bored me. The storyline became quite convoluted in places, and at times I found it hard to follow exactly what was going on.

The romance between Molly and Rath seemed to escalate quite quickly, and Molly seemed to be very comfortable with this.

There were some twists and turns and action in this book, but for me they all seemed to come with a ‘Da-Daa!’ soundtrack, which was again a bit cheesy.

The ending was okay, but we were left with a cliff-hanger, and I can’t say that I’m all that desperate to find out what happens next.
Overall; an okay story, but a little cheesy and rough around the edges in places.
6 out of 10.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Spellbound (Spellbound #1) by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to— Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives— visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

My rating: 2.75 of 5 stars

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Emma is starting at a posh new school, and living with her aunt and uncle, after her alcoholic step father almost killed her. Emma is about to get more than she bargained for when she befriends a teenage witch, and has two boys fighting over her.
Is Emma really cursed though? Is she really a witch? And which boy should she choose?

This story was okay, but boy was it irritating in places.

The characters in this book and the things they said drove me nuts. From one character whose every sentence started with ‘yeah, like’, to stupid comments like when being told to turn off the TV, shouting back ‘You’re the TV!’. I mean what does that even mean?

The storyline in this was okay, although the book didn’t really start to get interesting until the 58% mark, and even then it was still annoying at times. I was not impressed when 16-year-olds were doing tequila shots in a bar, and I also wasn’t impressed when a certain person was hobbling along on a sprained ankle one minute, and sprinting the next!

I did like the fairy tale/curse part of the story, and I did find that interesting, but even that had its annoying moments, when a certain person thought that she could simply avoid a curse by staying out of the park at night, and not going out in bad weather!

The ending of this was okay, although again, it all seemed maybe a little too simple. I will read the next in the series because I already have it, but I’m really hoping that it is better than this one.
Overall; an okay story, but really irritating in places.
5.5 out of 10.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Made of Stars by Kelley York

Made of Stars
Blurb (from Goodreads):
When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.

The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.

Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

Made of Stars by Kelley York

My rating: 2.25 of 5 stars

Made of Stars(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Entangled Teen and Rockstar blog tours.)
18-year-old Hunter and Ashlin (half brother and sister) are both returning to their father’s home to stay with him for a while.
Hunter and Ashlin usually live with their respective mothers, and visit their father over the summer, and have a long-time friend called Chance, who they meet up with every time they visit their father.

This time when they meet Chance things are different, as its winter not summer, and they’ve all grown up a bit more. Both Hunter and Ashlin seem to have romantic feelings for Chance, but it’s obvious that they can’t both be with him.
Who will win Chance’s heart? Will Hunter ever admit that he really has feelings for another guy? And what is going on with Chance’s home life?

This was an okay story, but it was nothing like I expected, and the ending was pretty poo.

I can’t say that I really liked any of the characters in this book, there was just something about them that put me off, and I can’t say that I really connected with any of them. Hunter was a big sissy, who even hid his feelings from himself, Ashlin was okay, but put herself in dangerous situations without really thinking what she was doing, and Chance just put me on edge - it seemed obvious that he was hiding something, and I just couldn’t relate to him at all.

The storyline in this book annoyed me to be honest. The blurb goes on about Chance’s mother turning up dead, and Chance and his father are suspects, but this doesn’t happen until we are 75% of the way through the book! How ridiculous to have something in the blurb that doesn’t happen until the book is nearly finished! Not impressed by this at all.
What this book was really about was the fact that Hunter and Ashlin both fancied the same boy – Chance, and Hunter was basically too scared to admit his feelings to anyone, even himself, and this got old really quickly.
When we got some romance I did like it, but there was so little of it I felt a bit short changed, and again, Hunter really annoyed me that he couldn’t admit his real feelings, even when Chance was coming on to him.

The ending of this book also irritated me. We got a conjecture answer to the mystery, and then a non-end. Nothing was resolved, everything was left hanging, I was seriously annoyed, and then to make matters worse the last 12% of the book was an excerpt from the authors other book! I wanted answers, I wanted some sort of a happy ending, and what I actually got was – 'read on for a sneak peak at Kelley York’s haunting thriller'. I mean really?
Overall; a disappointing story, a spoiler for a blurb, and a very poor non-ending.
4.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sia by Josh Grayson

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Josh Grayson, and Netgalley.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
SiaWhen seventeen-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench, she has no idea who or where she is. Yet after a week of being homeless, she’s reunited with her family. At school, she’s powerful and popular. At home, she’s wealthy beyond her dreams. But she quickly realizes her perfect life is a lie. Her family is falling apart and her friends are snobby, cruel and plastic. Worse yet, she discovers she was the cruelest one. Mortified by her past, she embarks on a journey of redemption and falls for Kyle, the “geek” she once tormented. Yet all the time she wonders if, when her memories return, she’ll become the bully she was before…and if she’ll lose Kyle.

Sia by Josh Grayson

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sia(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Josh Grayson, and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Sia wakes up on a park bench in a pink jogging outfit, with nothing but her ipod. She has no idea who she is, or where she belongs, and eventually befriends a woman who lives on the streets, who teaches her how to look after herself.

When she accidentally gets hit by a car and ends up in hospital, Sia is reunited with her family, and discovers that her parents are famous movie producers, and she is a cheerleader and mean girl.

Sia doesn’t want to be a mean girl any more, but is it too late to change people’s opinions of her? Does she still want to be head cheerleader and the star quarterback’s girlfriend? Or does she want to be someone else?

This book started out okay, but ultimately became very unrealistic. I’m wondering if this author has ever met a teenage girl, never mind getting to know what mean girls are like.

Sia was an okay character. I got her initial confusion at waking up and not knowing who she was, but she didn’t panic quite enough for me. She was scared admittedly, but she never once thought to maybe go to a police station and find out if she’d been reported missing! I mean she was wearing expensive jogging clothes, and had nothing on her but an ipod, so it was obvious that she didn’t usually live on the street! Why it didn’t occur to her to try and find out who she was and where she had come from I don’t know. And why didn’t the woman (Carol) that she met advise her to do this either? And was she even asleep on a bench in the first place?

In her position I would have tried to find out who I was rather than getting in a car with someone she didn’t know, breaking a bottle to use as a weapon, sleeping in a park, and selling her ipod to buy clothes and a sleeping bag. This just didn’t make any sense. Also, when a boy at the soup kitchen then recognised her, why didn’t he know that she had been missing for a week? It seemed like the rest of the school was beside-themselves with worry, yet Kyle didn’t even know she was missing?! And why didn’t she stop and question him when it seemed like he knew who she was? Surely if you have amnesia and have no idea who you are you would want to speak to someone who seems to know you?

When Sia eventually got back home, she was also a completely different person from who she had been before. I understood that she was behaving how she wanted to behave, and that maybe she had been ashamed of her behaviour before, but she went from being a mean girl, to being some sort of saint! She not only started appreciating and looking after her parents, but it was like she wanted to change the world! She talked her mom into going to rehab, tried to make her friends into better people, tried to save her father’s business, and then started to help with a ‘earthquake disaster relief’ thing, which totally reminded me of the film ‘Clueless’, where Cher does something very similar with the idea of becoming a better person.

This book then had a total ‘happily ever after’, fairy-tale style ending, which for me was completely unrealistic. Not only did Sia get her guy, she also solved her mother’s drinking problem, sorted out her father’s money troubles, got the mean girls to change their ways, and raised thousands of dollars for the disaster relief fund, and all without breaking a sweat. I mean, has this author even met a teenage girl? Telling a typical mean girl that she is selfish is not going to make her break down and change her ways, it’s going to get the person who told her ostracised.
Overall; an overly ‘nice’, but unrealistic story.
4.5 out of 10.

Release Day Blitz and #Giveaway - Jaded Stone by Kelly Walker

In Cornerstone, Valencia Roth died to protect her daughter. In Jaded Stone, she'll live for her.

 Twenty years before the events of Cornerstone, Valencia Roth is the Crown Princess of Sheas, as lonely as she is privileged. She wants for nothing, except a clear path toward peace for her land. She’s always known personal happiness might not be in The Three’s plan for her. As the future ruler of Sheas, and a Cornerstone, her life belongs to her people.

 But when Valencia meets the charming Reid Hendel, she dares to believe love could be within her reach. That is, if they can both survive long enough for it to blossom. A new threat prowls the land, and she’s their primary target. Armed with stubborn pride and all the resources of Sheas, she fears nothing—until her brother leads her intended directly into the fray and at least one of them doesn’t return. Burdened with grief, Valencia must carve her own path forward. From the forge of chaos, a new era will be born.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Kelly Walker


Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Eve (Eve #1) by Anna Carey

Eve (Eve, #1)
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

Eve by Anna Carey

My rating: 3.38 of 5 stars

Eve (Eve, #1)(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Eve lives in a dystopian world in a girls boarding school. With only hours to go before making her valedictorian speech, she finds out that she is not destined to go on to train for a job when she graduates, but to be tied to a bed and used to produce multiple babies, all in the guise of repopulating for the greater good.
Eve can’t allow this to happen though, and instead escapes. Alone, and inexperienced, Eve must now find a way to survive, and to find her way to a camp where she might be safe.
Can Eve survive the wilderness with only her book-smarts? Are all men evil as she has been raised to believe? And will she ever find a way to save her sisters from the same fate?

This was an okay dystopian story, but certain things just didn’t sit right with me.

Eve was an okay character. She was supposed to be valedictorian, and the smartest girl to ever go through her school, yet she would then say things that made her out to be anything but smart. One of these times was when she had no idea what a boy was referring to when he talked about his ‘balls’. Considering that the school had supposedly raised the girls to hate men, and to fear intercourse, you would have expected her to understand a male reproductive system.

The storyline was okay, but there were just little things that made this less than wonderful for me. The start of the book was pretty much just a hate campaign against men. I don’t know what this author’s issues are, but the things these girls were raised to believe were just shocking, and this idea that men were evil seemed to be forced upon us at every opportunity.

I also had an issue with the fact that these girls were raised in a school and taught stuff for around 11 years. Why go to the trouble of schooling them until age 16 if all they are going to do is make babies? Why not have them do something more useful? They could have used some of the girls as babysitters even – to care for all the new-borns they were producing, or made them useful in some other way. And why wait until they’re sixteen to turn them into baby machines? Why not start as soon as they get their first period?

I also had issues with the point of producing so many babies. I understand that in a post-apocalyptic world you would possibly need to reproduce and repopulate, but producing so many babies so quickly would not be the best way to achieve that strangely enough. If you end up with a large population of children compared to adults, how are you going to have enough hands to care for the children? How are you going to be able to produce enough food to feed them? So much of your resources would be trapped just trying to raise so many children to maturity at the same time, that you would be shooting yourself in the foot.

There were also other things that were just a little off, but it’s difficult to discuss any more of them without dropping spoilers.
The ending was okay, but reminded me of another book I had read (can’t remember which one), and I totally guessed the twist at the end.
Overall; an okay dystopian, but had its niggles.
6.75 out of 10.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Inhale, Exhale by Sarah M. Ross

Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Sarah M. Ross, Indie Inked, and Netgalley.
Inhale, Exhale
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Jillian had a plan: celebrate the end of her first year of college with an amazing summer full of beaches, barbeques, and bonfires. When her mom insists she needs a summer job, and her boyfriend spends more time with his band than with her, Jillian’s plans go down the drain.

Grant had a plan: finish his Masters, get a great job at Google, and get the hell out of Georgia. He might be giving up some of the fun of his youth, but he knows his all work and no play method would be worth it when his dreams came true.

But things never go according to plan.

When temptation brings them together and tragedy tears them apart, Jillian and Grant will be forced to choose: fight for their dreams, or fight for each other.

Inhale, Exhale by Sarah M. Ross

My rating: 3.75 of 5 stars

Inhale, Exhale(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Sarah M. Ross, Indie Inked, and Netgalley.)
19-year-old Jillian is home from university for the summer, and starting a job that her mother has secured for her.
The IT guy Grant at her new job is gorgeous, and she feels instantly attracted to him. The problem is her boyfriend of 4 years – Christian, who she still loves.
Who will Jillian choose? Can she leave Christian after 4 years together? And does Christian really deserve her?

This was a good new adult romance, and I really enjoyed it.

Jillian was a sweet girl who tried to do the right thing, and felt guilty at even dreaming about another man whilst she was in a relationship with Christian. It was obvious that she felt more for Grant than she felt for Christian though, and it was also obvious how much she tried to squash her feelings.

The storyline in this was pretty good, and I didn’t immediately guess what would happen.
The romance between Jillian and Grant was really sweet, and it was nice to see how they flirted with little glances and gestures rather than being blatant. When they did eventually give in to their attraction it was hot! The pages sizzled with the chemistry between them, and this was definitely one of those books where you find yourself going back to re-read certain scenes because they were so good!

The ending was also good, and I was pleased with how things turned out. I was a little hesitant over whether some details were 100% accurate at points, but this didn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the story.
Overall; a good new adult romance.
7.5 out of 10